The American star Andy Roddick has decided to call it a day after this on-going US open. Fittingly, he has decided to retire at the biggest tennis event of his home country. US tennis has lost the last member of their golden generations in men’s tennis which included the likes of Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Pete “pistol” Sampras, Jim Courier and Andre Agassi. His retirement indeed is a great loss to the tennis world. He may not have won as many grand slams as the likes of Nadal and Federer, but still he will be a legend.
His initial years coincided with the ageing of the US greats Sampras and Agassi, so he had the burden of expectations from his country. Though he didn’t disappoint at the start, by winning the 2003 US open and thereby gaining the world no 1 ranking and continuing the tradition of US male players dominating tennis. He had a good rivalry with the Aussie, Lleyton Hewitt. The best of them being the 2001 US open quarters, when Hewitt beat Roddick in an epic 5 setter. This was until the Swiss master came into picture. Roddick was in such an unbeatable form from 2003 that it became impossible for him to be beaten in hard or grass courts. Thus, from then on, Roddick remained in his shadow forever.
After reaching the finals of 2004 and 2005 Wimbledon, he just fell short of his dream to win a Wimbledon title. Thereafter, with the emergence of the likes of Nadal and Djokovic, he hardly remained in competition to win a grand-slam. Yet, he did manage to come into the finals of 2009 Wimbledon, where again he lost to Federer, but not before stretching him to 16-14 in the 5th set. From then on, he was plagued with injuries and his form fell and thus his rankings too. So now finally, he has decided to call it a day.
One might ask that what is so great in him? The answer lies in the fact that he has revolutionized the service game in tennis. No one could consistently serve at such a speed like he did. No wonder, at one time, he held the record for the fastest serve. As much as his serves was his strength, it was his weakness too. With such an unorthodox serving action, his service became a bane for his body. Thus, he ended up being injured too often.
He wasn’t in the same league as a Nadal or Djokovic in terms of greatness and his peak form coincided with the peak of arguably the greatest player ever. But if he played in any other era except Federer’s, he might have got the due credit he deserved. Still, he is a player to remember.
Your serves will be missed Roddick. Adios.